Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Hurtig, Richard

First Committee Member

Duff, Melissa

Second Committee Member

Wallace, Anne


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices have been created, and are currently used, in hospital settings to improve communication between those who require adaptive assistance for speaking and writing. AAC devices are typically used by non-oral patients. While interpreters are required to be available for non-English speaking patients within the hospital, they cannot be available at the bedside of the patient at all hours of the day for routine cares. One population in particular who has difficulty communicating without interpreters are those who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as a primary means of communication. How are these patients supposed to communicate with medical staff when interpreters are not available? This question was the basis for the current project. Previously developed AAC devices for non-oral patients were adapted to create a translation device to improve bedside communication between hospital staff and patients who are deaf. The limited ability to effectively communicate with patients who are deaf argues for the criticality of having a translation device for Deaf patients in the hospital setting.


iv, 57 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-57).


Copyright 2012 Emily Michelle Czerniejewski